Archive for December, 2010

How To Frost A Glass Side Door (And Avoid Bubbles)

It’s no secret that the real improvement we need to make to our new laundry area is in the upgrading to energy efficient appliances arena along with adding some nice built-in storage to maximize that tiny room. But as we save up and plan for those upgrades, we took a few hours after Clara’s bedtime a few days ago to tackle some smaller items on our laundry list. Pun intended.

First we went to work on the glass side door. You know, the one that gave everyone a straight shot from our carport, through the laundry area and into our kitchen (here I am being creepy and demonstrating the problem, which you can read more about here).

Since we were eager to get rid of this bi-fold door that was currently acting as a privacy solution in the interim…

… at first we figured we’d throw up a cheap wooden blind over the glass side door, remove the dark pocket door, and consider our problem solved. Well, after buying a bamboo rolling shade from Home Depot, we realized how much light it blocked and after learning that our kitchen is a black hole in the mornings (it’s the only room with no windows to the outside world- the window above the sink looks out into the sunroom) we didn’t want anything that would block too much light.

That’s when we opted to go the frosting film route. We used the same materials / techniques that we employed in our basement a while ago, so you can read that step-by-step guide here (and see what film we chose). The only issue we ran into this time was bubbles.

Some serious, annoying, won’t-go-away bubbles. You always have these at some point of this process, but it usually just takes a few squeegees to get them out. But these bubbles weren’t bursting, no matter how hard Sherry squeegeed. And it totally burst our bubble (too corny- had to cross it out).

We hoped it was just an issue with not having applied enough applicator spray to each surface, but we feared it was a problem with the temperature of the side door (instructions said not to apply it in under 40 degree weather, which it definitely was on the other side of that glass). We crossed our fingers, peeled off the permanently bubbled film, scraped some residual glue off of the window, and readied ourselves to try again (fortunately our leftover scrap of film was perfectly sized for a second attempt). And this time we used a boatload more of the applicator solution to keep things nice and slippery so no bubbles could take permanent hold.

And it worked. Phew.

Our next little project was the removal of those shelves next to the door. We love bonus storage just as much as the next blogger, but we couldn’t figure out exactly what we’d want there since it’s not concealed- and we learned that coming through the door with our hands full meant that we routinely bumped into whatever was on those shelves anyway. So we decided to take them down and instead turn it into a place to hang art or a frame collage someday. Every laundry room needs a little space for the eye to rest and art always makes it feel a bit more welcoming and less utilitarian. At least that’s what the wife says. She’s more of the decorating brains. And I’m the take-those-shelves-down brawn. Although Sherry does get down with the power tools when the mood strikes.

While I was in the midst of unscrewing things (despite it being about 10:30pm) we thought we’d keep the momentum going and get rid of the shutters on the laundry room window too (to make room for an eventual set of blinds/roman shade/curtain).

So by morning, our laundry area was looking more like this:

No shutters, no shelves, but a bit of touch up painting to be done.

And we’re still getting a nice stream of morning light coming into the otherwise pitch black kitchen in the early morning. Frosting film was definitely the (nice cheap) way to go.

Have you guys frosted windows with the same film stuff from Home Depot? Have you ever encountered the not-coming-out-no-matter-how-hard-you-squeegee-bubble problem? Was it due to temperature or lack of applicator spray? Or something else entirely?

Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winners back on the original post. Click here to see if it’s you.



Listy McListerson

Wahoooooooo! A list post! I loooooooooove lists! Oh haaaaaappy day.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, this post will continue without the excessive exclamation points & extraneous vowels.

Lots of people have been asking what we’ll tackle next, what order we’ll be doing things in, etc. And our answer is usually: it’ll honestly just depend on our mood and what supplies we have on hand. When it comes to big projects we like to save our pennies and plan things to death, but for small things (which we always recommend doing first so you can live with the house for a while before making any dramatic changes that you might regret) we always just dive in and learn as we go. It’s the only way we’ve been able to accomplish things instead of being paralyzed by indecision. So we’ll hang frames somewhere and if we don’t like them we’ll move them. Same deal for picking paint colors and arranging furniture. And we’ll post pics and details as they occur, not to worry! But just for fun (and because I’m a die-hard list making fool) I thought I’d share a few of the bulleted things scrawled in a notebook by the bed.

My method? Just casually write everything out in list form, circle the small things I think we can get to right away, cross them off as we go, and underline the long term things we want to save for and tackle when we finally have the funds (and are feeling more sure about our approach). Looking at those underlined things from time to time keeps us excited to squirrel away as much as we can to make them a reality down the road. And seeing all the crossed off smaller items reminds us that bite-sized undertakings can really keep you motivated and excited to tweak your house one day at a time until it’s suddenly your love-it-to-pieces home. Anyway, here’s the ol’ list:

To Do (But Not All At Once…):

These ones are circled:

These ones are underlined:

Furnishings To Slowly Save Up For:

In summary, it doesn’t sound like rocket science, but our method is to basically just write everything down and tackle things that are doable and not too intimidating while we save up for the bigger projects. And as for priorities, we generally just do whatever project we’re in the mood to take on (barring anything that needs to be a priority for safety or other extreme urgency reasons). And we definitely jump around from room to room just to stay excited and not feel too regimented and “forced” into doing something that we might not want to deal with yet.

So you’ll see us working on different areas and taking on everything from DIY curtains and paint-related projects to heavy duty renovations and lightweight accessorizing. We’ll share more deets on each of those projects as we tackle them over the next few years (yes, we said years- remember our last house took us 4.5 years to “finish” – and even then there were things we could have noodled for years). Woot! Off to the home improvement store (again) for more supplies. There’s no place like home (depot). Sometimes I wish I had red sparkly shoes that I could click three times and be taken to the hardware aisle…

Psst- Adorable “I heart lists” stationery found here on Etsy.

Psssst- Check out this floor plan post which might make some of the major layout changes & renovations that we’ve listed a bit more clear.